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U.S. Marines Invade the University

continued from part 1, The Crash

The street in front of the crash site quickly filled with police cars, both Japanese and US military, marked and unmarked

   The actions of U.S. Marines which followed on that day have done more to bring disgrace and dishonor upon the U.S. Marine Corps, damage US-Japanese relations, and tarnish Americafs reputation in Japan than any incident since the 1995 gang rape of a twelve-year old Okinawan schoolgirl by U.S. soldiers.

Trespassing on university property, Marines arrive to occupy a large area of the OIU campus around the crash site while the helicopter was still in flames.

   In a flagrant affront to Japanese national sovereignty and longstanding traditions of university autonomy, U.S. Marine officers ordered the invasion and occupation of a large section of the OIU campus surrounding the crash site, including the university administration building and faculty parking lot. Yellow gCrime Sceneh tape was hurriedly stretched around the cordoned off area. However, Marines guarding the perimeter expressed no concern for anyonefs safety. They all kept shouting only one phrase, gNO PICTURES!h

NO PICTURES! Marines showed great concern for  photography, but none for civilian casualties.

   One would think that casualties and emergency medical care would have been the primary concern. Marines reportedly did attempt to search the Administration Building, but were forced back by the thick smoke. However, none of the surrounding buildings or neighborhoods were checked for casualties.

   There have been no reports of any Marine ever asking if there were any injured students or office workers in need of medical care. And apparently no attempt was made to find out if any residents in the neighborhood across the street were in need of emergency treatment either.

   Students who began snapping pictures with their cell phone cameras found themselves confronted by Marines attempting to confiscate them. Marines also unsuccessfully attempted to confiscate video footage taken by an Asahi TV crew. (See the footage.)

   Rotor blades lay in the narrow streets for over an hour before the Marines got word. When they did realize there were rotor blades and other debris in the adjacent neighborhood, they just went and guarded the debris. No resident has reported being asked about possible injuries.

Elementary school children walking home from a nearby school (upper left) as U.S. Marines take care of their own.

   After the Marines arrived at the crash site, the next to arrive was the Ginowan City Fire Department. A firefighter interviewed later on local TV reported that he was scared out of his wits while fighting the fire because the Marines refused to tell the firefighters what kind of cargo was on board the helicopter. Thus, city firefighters the had little clue as to what safety precautions to take, or how best to deal with the fire. Military officials later revealed that an undisclosed amount strontium 90, a deadly radioactive isotope found in nuclear fallout, was on board. An unknown quantity is still unaccounted for, and speculation has it that it vaporized in the intense heat of the fire.

Ginowan City firefighters brave unknown dangers

   Both Japanese and military police cars began to arrive in rapid succession as the firefighters gradually succeeded in controlling and eventually extinguishing the flames.

Ginowan City firefighters extinguish the blaze

Photo courtesy Ginowan City Fire Dept.

   While claiming gclose cooperationh with Japanese authorities in the media, the reality is that the Marines have refused to cooperate with the fire department, the police, university officials, Ginowan City officials, and the prefectural government.

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The Occupation

 

 

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